Planning for Resource Efficiency in Stockholm: Good Practices without Consistency
For the book Territorial Governance Across Europe: Pathways, Practices & Prospects, published by Routeledge, Metropolitan Collective contributed a chapter on territorial governance for resource efficiency in Stockholm. While Stockholm has shown tremendous leadership in some aspects of city-making, notably including eco-district development, public transit promotion and congestion taxing, a more systematic approach to achieving, reviewing and learning from these accomplishments would further support the city in it's efforts to become carbon neutral.
The book is available here and read the abstract below:
In recent decades, Stockholm, Sweden has developed an international reputation for its leading efforts in promoting urban environmental sustainability, something underlined by the city’s selection as the European Green Capital 2010. Building on a heritage of environmental awareness, environmental goals and resource efficiency standards have primarily been achieved through a top-down approach. To this end, contemporary public policy has been packaged around clear goals motivated by environmental and economic rationales. Insights into territorial governance practices related to urban planning in Stockholm and a flagship-project, Stockholm Royal Seaport (SRS) in particular are provided. In doing so, the chapter illustrates how private actors have engaged in the city’s development and capitalized on its environmental profile by increasing their “green” proficiencies, which has resulted in a green tech/clean tech cluster of almost 3000 companies. It is argued that while the city has taken impressive steps towards environmental sustainability, a lack of consistency in aims and processes between projects hinders efforts among public and private actors to achieve their respective goals related to sustainable development. This lack of consistency, due largely to variation in the role and dominance of different actors and policies, a silo mentality among city departments, and the manner in which planning decisions are taken, appears to be the most significant territorial governance challenge to promoting greater resource efficiency. However, a silver lining is that the Stockholm Royal Seaport project demonstrates that the City does in fact have the territorial governance capacity and competencies to achieve greater resource efficiency with the engagement of numerous public and private actors. While variations between projects continue to limit knowledge transfers, Stockholm has demonstrated in limited cases that it has the territorial governance capacity to promote the environment sustainability aims of numerous actors.